Koos Kombuis
Koos Kombuis

The day after the day before tomorrow

“If scientists were predicting the imminent return of the ice age I’m certain our response would have been more robust. ‘Global warming’ creates an illusion of a comfortable, warm future that is deeply appealing … ”

The Weather Makers – The History and Future Impact of Climate Change by Tim Flannery (Allen Lane, Penguin, 2005)

The Future is here.

The Future knocked on our front door, and when we looked through the peeping hole to see who it was, it said, “I am the Future.”

“But you’re only supposed to be here tomorrow,” we said. “This is the Present.”

“I am Tomorrow,” the Future said. “Let me in.”

“But this is the day before Tomorrow,” we said. “And we’re a bit busy right now. We simply don’t have the time … ”

But the Future would not take “No” for an answer. The Future kicked the door down, and barged into our lives.

The Future swept into our comfort zone, upsetting all our well-laid plans, tossing torrents of water onto our beds, setting fire to our kitchen, swirling like a hurricane through our lounge, flooding and burning and blowing and shaking like the wicked wolf out to destroy the three little pigs’ house.

In retrospect: we could have stopped the Future, or at least delayed it, had we been willing to make a deal with it the first time it contacted us. We might have appeased the Future, if only we had not ignored its phone calls. If we had replied to its numerous emails. But now the Future has lost its temper, and so it decided to arrive unannounced, to take us by storm.

Climate change has arrived. It is here.

It is no longer some prediction made by a lone group of soft-spoken, serious white-coated scientists. It is no longer a projection of possible doom on page three of the daily paper. It is no longer an omen, a vague threat, an uneasy niggling at the fringes of our conscience.

The Future is here, in all its fury. The Future is attacking suburban streets, setting fire to houses in Australia. The Future is bombarding America with hurricanes and extreme cold, it is flooding England, it is causing mayhem and death and destruction across the planet on a scale last seen during the onset of the last ice age.

We had been diddling and doodling while Rome was catching fire. And now the conflagration has reached the centre squares of the city. Doom has arrived in our society like a troupe of uncouth barbarians, making a mockery of our economic system, our clever iPads and our Justin Bieber videos and our tennis tournaments and our internet gossip and our smartphones and our political ideologies and our petty squabbles and our unimportant neuroses and our self-obsessed chatter. It is jerking the carpet of civilisation from under our feet, exposing us for the primitives we are.

So, the United States is criticising Uganda for its gay policy? Fair enough. Homophobia is bad, after all! But is pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and killing generations of unborn children supposed to be okay?

Our priorities are skewed. The things that matter to us are worthless. Our hobbies, our blogs, our opinions and our civil rights must all give way to the inescapable fact that the Future is here, now, demanding a response, commanding our undivided attention, waving its handful of storms and havoc and misery and mud slides and disease and fear and horror right under our noses.

And suddenly, nothing else matters.

Suddenly, this is the thing.

Suddenly, there’s nothing else.

This is the moment when we wake up and realise that perhaps it’s too late, perhaps the coming changes can no longer be prevented. Perhaps we are on a roller-coaster ride that has gone out of control.

The Future is here, and it is not afraid of us any more. Its time has come. Whatever you call it — Aquarius, the end of time, that thing the Mayans predicted in their weird stone tablets, the slow trains and the tempests that Bob Dylan sang about in his nasal voice, the road to hell charted by Chris Rea, the dangers Greenpeace warned us about, all the stuff in that Al Gore DVD that we didn’t want to think about, all the trials and tribulations of the book of Revelations, all that shit is finally coming down, and can no longer be stopped, and there’s nowhere to hide, and there are no other planets to escape to, and we are finally facing the Abyss, and the Abyss is facing us, and this is the century of reckoning …

This is no longer the Future. This is NOW.

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  • 20 Responses to “The day after the day before tomorrow”

    1. aim for the culprits #

      Using Aus fires, English floods and American hurricanes as examples of climate change impacts is about as valid as expressing shock at corruption allegations against those in power…. tis always been so and will be.

      January 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm
    2. Momma Cyndi #

      ….. and herein lies the very reason that everyone ignored it – hyperbole.
      We heard in 1995 how the world seas would be to the top of Table Mountain by 2005 but 2005 arrived and left with no significant sea rise. Then we heard how there would be complete drought in Europe and they got floods. Then we heard that the ice caps would be gone completely by 2010 but they are still there ….. with these ridiculous claims, is it any wonder that everyone was confused?

      Don’t even get me started on the various scientists who disagreed with the concept and the fiddling of figures to cook up ‘proof’ by the global warming lot. We won’t even think about old Gore who created more ‘greenhouse’ emissions flying around the world making a fast buck out of this or the fact that the unpronounceable volcano put more ‘greenhouse gasses’ into the air in one week than mankind has put there in a hundred years.

      You (the global warming warners) discredit yourselves and fight among yourselves then blame us?

      January 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm
    3. Stephen #

      Might be nice weather for the beach down South, but its bl**dy nippy up here. The future is called ‘global warming’ did you say?

      January 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm
    4. Cam Cameron #

      Climate change has been here long before human beings even trod this planet. It’s never NOT been here.

      January 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm
    5. Comrade Koos #

      Thanks Koos Kombuis for this. You are going to have a hard time from the anti-science group here. They deny humans are causing global warming and climate change. Maybe some of them also still believe the earth is flat :-) Please forgive them. They are however good for a laugh.

      January 21, 2014 at 8:20 am
    6. James #

      I suggest that all volcanoes should be ‘capped’, immediately. Those volcanoes spew the most dreadful stuff into the atmosphere when they erupt.

      We should show them that we are in charge of nature, and will not put up with any more misbehaviour.

      January 21, 2014 at 9:42 am
    7. Global warming putting it bluntly is a farce. A classic example of a crusade spearhead by those who siphon off billions of dollars from governments. The original US report in contradiction reported that “the temperatures went up first and then there was the increase of CO2″.You can’t say A=B if B happened first.

      This is a group of intellectuals, “climate scientists” who have a very narrow competency suddenly proclaiming there’s a crisis, scaring the rest of us and thereby creating a demand for their service, not as climate scientists alone but as a kind of a higher preslycastic, telling us all how to live and save the planet and in the meantime generate billions of dollars worth of government programmes to fund their research initiatives. There are scientist who believe in this farce and there are those who believe the complete opposite but the ones who are pushing “global warming” are doing their utmost to make sure that those who are believing the opposite don’t get heard by the public.

      So far there is not any ‘parent body’ that oversees the activities of these global scientists, that can establish the veracity of the data/ statistics. That already contravenes transparency policies that ought to form center-stage of such a fundamental global challenge. The one reason for such incongruity is because there exists no pay-off for such a body.

      January 21, 2014 at 10:48 am
    8. Comrade Koos #

      I just love the comments by the anti-science lobby. 97% of those scientists who research global warming and climate change agree humans are exacerbating it but the those who deny mans hand in this phenomena believe the 3% of crackpot climate scientists. Those anti-science “scientists’ are most likely on the payrolls for the biggest carbon emitters like fossil fuel (coal & oil) corporations.

      Africa is the continent that will be worst affected by extreme weather, droughts, famine, floods, wars for water, tropical diseases spreading etc. but the anti-science brigade will hear nothing of human suffering. They trot out their hilarious denial-ism like religious zealots. LOLs…LOLs…LOLs…

      January 21, 2014 at 11:10 am
    9. john b patson #

      Um, how do you know?
      The examples you cite can all be put down to random weather variations, especially as there is so little data.
      For example, France, the country which invented the Celsius temperature scale has only had a fairly good national weather reporting service (temperature maximum and minimum, rainfall, atmospheric pressure) since 1946. Obviously other records exist, especially from vineyards, but they rarely go back more than three centuries and when examined show the present is actually colder than during some previous hotter decades.
      Even the study of “ice carrots” (dug out with vast burning of fossil fuels) in the Antartic is inconclusive — recorded events such as the 17the century winters when the Thames froze in London do not show as blips where current theory is that they should.
      So you could be right or you could be wrong, just do not be so dogmatic.
      And do carry on saving energy — at least your finances will be better.

      January 21, 2014 at 11:41 am
    10. Call for Honesty #

      Those who think they are able to change the climate of the world by spending not billions but trillions are like King Canute but unlike him they do not realize their foolishness and stupidity in trying to do so:

      According to the story, the king had his chair carried down to the shore and ordered the waves not to break upon his land.

      When his orders were ignored, he pronounced: “Let all the world know that the power of kings is empty and worthless and there is no King worthy of the name save Him by whose will heaven and earth and sea obey eternal laws,” (Historia Anglorum, ed D E Greenway).

      (Reference “Is King Canute Misunderstood?” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13524677)

      January 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm
    11. Call for Honesty #

      Koos Kombuis needs to learn to read carefully and thoughtfully. There is no such book that he calls “book of Revelations”. If he cannot even read the title correctly, how can he even begin to read and understand the content?

      January 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm
    12. Yaj #

      @ Benedick M Louw, and what scientific expertise/knowledge do you have, may i ask ?

      January 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm
    13. Mr. Direct #

      I was looking at some snowy peaked mountains the other day, just thinking about how they formed. I imagined the two tectonic plates colliding in Hollywood style earthquakes, resulting in chaos and devastation. One day flat, the next day mountain.

      Then I considered the mountain may have formed at a measly 2mm a year for thousands of years, slowly moving up and up until it reached it’s current height. Erosion would have already started wearing it down as it shifted, making it difficult to see in a single person’s life span. Sure, people would feel the odd rumble as the rocks scraped and moved, but may have lived their lives unaware of what was happening under their feet.

      I think the global warning debate is exactly the same.

      We can taste the pollution, we can see it. Our bodies react to it, whether a simple cough, or the odd eye rub. We know full well the air is not clean, and we are to blame. The science is pure, we are polluting the air, ground, and sea.

      The scientists fail to predict the true impact of pollution. It seems there may not be a sudden, Hollywood style end of the world, but instead a slow, constant, natural death.

      Do you want to be one of those people that only stops smoking when they learn about their impending death from lung cancer, of would you prefer to be the people that make decisions based on the likelihood, and never reach that point beyond all hope?

      January 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm
    14. the lion people #

      Those that deny the massive human element causing climate change since the start of the industrial revolution and huge increase in fossil fuel use would also argue that smoking does not kill you, lung cancer is what kills you. They would also argue that speed does not kill, its stopping too fast kills.

      Human caused global warming denialists on internet blog spots are mostly spin doctors for the oil and coal companies. Probably fake profiles.

      January 21, 2014 at 6:42 pm
    15. Zeph #

      I suspect this warming is the wobble before the big freeze. Ice ages descend rapidly (within 100 years sometimes). Looking at long term graphs and trying to determine cycles it does look like it is due. If I was a betting man that is where I would put my money!
      If this is the case we face some interesting times as the most developed nations with the largest most effective armies will be the ones looking for arable land….

      When it comes to global warming the sun sneezing has more affect than a thousand volcanoes belching.
      Keep you eye on the sun. (Warning: do not try this without adequate protection. I mean to look at the sun indirectly through data obtained. I do not want to be responsible for the dumbasses and their actions out there).

      January 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm
    16. the lion people #

      “When it comes to global warming the sun sneezing has more affect than a thousand volcanoes belching.”

      What part of the science showing that greenhouse gasses from burning fossil fuels cause global warming and climate change do conspiracy theorists not understand?

      January 22, 2014 at 9:17 pm
    17. Nguni #

      The naysayers do indeed remind me of the types that believe in creation rather than evolution. Well done, you’ve bought the BS from Big Oil and its lobbyists.
      I lived in an alpine area for >30 years and there you won’t find anyone that doesn’t believe in global warming, because they have vivid proof before their eyes. Those huge glaciers are melting and they are not coming back, some have disappeared completely.

      January 23, 2014 at 9:11 pm
    18. Zeph #

      @the lion people – I am not denying that part of science – I am just saying there are much bigger influences.

      January 24, 2014 at 11:09 am
    19. Comrade Koos #

      @Zeph

      The biggest influence causing climate change/global warming right now is greenhouse gasses. What part of that science do you not understand?

      January 27, 2014 at 8:43 pm

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